Programming
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By Alex Walker

A Long Time Ago, On a Web Server Far, Far Away…

By Alex Walker
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The new Mac Pro: High-end server or Sith consumer good?

I thought this might be fun.

You may be aware that at last week’s WWDC, Apple announced a shiny, new line of remarkable-looking, high-end Mac Pros.

While they appear to be great hardware, it was the many comparisons drawn between them and Darth Vader that had me chuckling.

I saw them variously described as the ‘Sith Lord’s tissue box’, the ‘Dark side’s coffee cup’ and ‘Darth’s trashcan’.

Let’s face it, with all those glossy black, simple curves and that finely-honed engineering, it doesn’t require a huge leap of imagination to make that connection.

But I don’t think the comparisons end even there.

Have you seen Apple’s new corporate headquarters? Tell me that’s not a ‘Death Star v0.1. alpha’. Sure, the plans they’re pushing though Cupertino City Council, are all about the ‘jobs, trees and bike paths’.

But give it a few years and mark my words: that thing will be snuffing out rebel planets left and right.

There’s no denying it. Apple Inc is a ruthlessly efficient, high-tech and well-funded empire. Sound at all familiar?

So, as a webgeek and long-time Star Wars fan, it got me a-thinking…

If web languages/technologies were Star Wars characters, who would they be?

So, for my own entertainment (and hopefully yours) here’s my personal take on the subject, followed by tongue-in-cheek explanations.

On a Web Server Far, Far Away ...

1). IOS = Darth Vader: With that iron-fisted AppStore control, that closed source code philosophy, and those lithe, neo-industrial design lines, it’s hard to go past Apple as ‘The Empire’.

BTW: For the record, I am an iPhone & MacBook Pro user.

It’s interesting to think that five years ago most would have chosen Microsoft here.

2). JavaScript = Yoda: It is cross-browser and cross-platform. It is both front-end and back. Flows through all, it does. Wise you must be to its ways.

3). Rails = Han: From the start, Rails guys have had a reputation for being anti-corporate and even a little cocky. Some have used the words ‘cowboys’ and ‘rockstars’. Indeed, their founder and spiritual leader once went to lengths to describe himself as ‘an R-rated individual‘. Feels like a good fit here.

4). SASS = Leia: “Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?” C’mon, That’s pretty sassy!

5). HAML = Luke: I admit HTML5 probably fits better for the story, but it’s very hard to pass over the Mark Hammill/HAML gag. I couldn’t. Plus, HAML and SASS are sibling languages.

6). Linux = Ben Obi-Wan: Venerable but never fashionable. Slightly mysterious but also wise and powerful. “Use the Open Source, Luke.”

I did consider SQL here too.

7). Android = C3PO: I don’t think it needs much explanation. I considered R2-D2 here, but I believe androids are more human-shaped than a bot like R2. It is true that they are both constantly referred to as ‘droids’ in the films though.

8). PHP = Chewbacca: Powerful, trustworthy sidekick or hulking, shambling mess? You be the judge. It’s not wise to upset a Wookiee.

9). Java = Jabba: OK, I admit the name similarities was probably enough for me. Java’s reputation for sluggishness with its enterprise leanings sealed the deal. Nobody wants to be Jabba.

Of course, these are all entirely my own views and are COMPLETELY subjective.

But what do you think?

  • Have I missed an obvious one?
  • Would R2-D2 fit in somewhere? (I would have liked drawing that one).
  • Who is Emperor Palpatine? And Boba Fett?

P.S. I completely refuse to acknowledge the existence of Jar Jar Binks for the purposes of this discussion — although Ricky’s suggestion of IE6 is a beauty!

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